Thursday, April 26, 2012

Environmental Groups Can Intervene In Lawsuit

{Louisville, Kentucky}...The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday that environmental groups and citizens may intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet against Frasure Creek Mining, which operates coal mines in Pike County, and that Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd did not err in allowing them to take part in the suit. In 2010, Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance and three private citizens threatened to sue Frasure Creek and ICG Coal for violating the federal Clean Water Act by discharging pollutants into the Kentucky, Big Sandy and Licking Rivers and their tributaries. The state Energy and Environment Cabinet went to Franklin Circuit Court in December seeking to settle the issue. After the cabinet investigated and found 2,700 violations, it and the coal companies submitted a consent judgment which fined each company more than $300,000. That prompted the environmentalists to ask Shepherd not to approve the settlement and allow them to intervene.